How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Alice O'Connor | 3/01/2018

The long awaited conclusion to the epic trilogy, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World delivers everything it promised. 

This final chapter brings to the screen everything we’ve come to love about this world – a ragtag group of Viking heroes, great one liners, a good ‘ol villain and dragons – in all their fearsome and cuddly forms.

What began as an unlikely partnership between a teenage Viking and his formidable Night Fury dragon concludes with each of them realising their true callings and embracing the sacrifices required to lead. Hiccup has become the chief of Berk, ruling with Astrid by his side and his oddball group of warriors running amok around them. Toothless is now the Alpha dragon and his relationship with Hiccup is tested by the appearance of a female Night Fury. As both rise to their new roles, a dark enemy appears on the horizon intent on eliminating dragons once and for all. One last rally by the citizens of Berk and their dragon companions will bring new heroes, heartbreak and a hidden world.

Director and writer Dean DeBlois, known for co-writing and directing the Lilo & Stitch films, has once again managed to infuse a healthy dose of witty dialogue and comical slapstick balanced amongst the battle to maintain Berk’s way of life. There’s plenty thrown in for the chaperones in attendance and a particular scene with an un-coordinated dancing Toothless had the whole audience in giggles. The quarrelsome twins, Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) and Tuffnut (T.J. Miller), are also a comical highlight. Yet Hidden World also manages to touch on some harder issues. Hiccup is still grieving for his father after his death in the previous film, and questioning whether he can ever lead like Stoick did. Faced with a villain who threatens the dragon utopia he’s created, Hiccup steps up and stands down his own self-doubts. 

In an age where we have come to expect exceptional craftsmanship in animation, this film still manages to impress. The visual effects are eye catching from the get go with the opening scenes of Berk, its towers filled with exotic and mesmerising array of brightly coloured dragons. This dragon utopia is only challenged by the stunning hidden world, but we’ll let you experience that for yourselves. Apart from these highlights the film still manages to create a sense of fantasy and awe every time Berk’s dragons take flight.

The score to this movie is surprisingly impressive, and never acts to hinder what is happening on-screen. It lacks the punch of a Disney musical but the instrumental score stands on its own and pulls you to the edge of your seat without you ever realising.

Conclusion

A strong entry to round out the surprisingly affecting trilogy.